Sunday, February 26, 2023

*Review* You Need to Chill by Juno Dawson


Genre: Children's 4-8 years
Published: May 2, 2023
Pages: 32

A delightful, endearing debut picture book by bestselling author and activist Juno Dawson in which a sister answers everyone's questions about where her brother Bill has gone.

When Bill can't be found at school one day, the imaginations of the other children run wild. Is he on vacation? Is he lost in the park? Has he been eaten by a shark?! It's up to Bill's sister to explain…

Juno Dawson' debut picture book is a witty and fun-filled rhyming story about family, identity, and acceptance. Bold, joyful and warm-hearted, its message of love and inclusivity shines through on every page.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a rhyming book about a young girl whose older brother has become her older sister. At first the kids in her class are confused about where her brother is, and like kids do, they come up with some really interesting places that Bill might be. It takes most of the story for the girl to be able to tell them that who they knew as Bill is now her sister, Lily, and that Lily is still the same person she was, just with a new first name and a slightly different appearance. 

I'm not sure how to feel about how much of the focus of the book was on where Bill might be as opposed to how little attention was paid to the fact that Lily is still the same person she always was, even when everyone knew her as Bill. A part of me feels like the latter should be a bigger focus, but maybe it's better to not treat it like a big deal, because it shouldn't be a big deal. It's not something I have personal experience with, so I don't know what the approach should be. 

The illustrations were colorful and fun, really giving shape to the kids' imaginations throughout their speculation. I would definitely read this book more than once if asked to. Overall I give it 4.68 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Juno Dawson is the international bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction for young adults. She is a columnist for Attitude magazine and a key LGBTQ+ activist with the charity Stonewall. A former teacher specializing in behavior studies, Juno now writes full time and lives in Brighton, England.

LAURA HUGHES is the illustrator of Kelly Clarkson’s New York Times bestselling picture book RIVER ROSE AND THE MAGICAL LULLABY as well as the enormously successful ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN. Laura is based in Hastings on the South Coast of England.

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